The administration of a coastal city in northern Vietnam has begun taking urgent measures to manage the service of cruise ships in the area, following a foreign tourist’s complaint about her ‘nightmarish’ experience aboard one of the vessels.
The government’s control of local cruise ships’ operations has been lax in recent times, Nguyen Van Tung, chairman of the People’s Committee in Hai Phong City, said during a meeting on Monday.
This negligence led to several negative reports of the boats, especially the one by Lynne Ryan, an Australian visitor taken to the city’s Cat Ba archipelago in early May.
In her Facebook post which came to make the headlines, Ryan described her cruise ride at the tourist mecca as a ‘horror trip,’ after seeing rat droppings, a broken-down toilet and air conditioner in her room on board Hoang Phuong 16, a cruise ship that she boarded.
|A broken-down air conditioner in a room of cruise ship Hoang Phuong 16 is seen in this photo from Facebook.|
|A toilet in a room of cruise ship Hoang Phuong 16 is seen in this photo from Facebook.|
The ‘junk boat,’ in her words, was disappointingly different from what it was presented in a glossy brochure she received.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism then required the owner of Hoang Phuong 16 to apologize and recompense Ryan, saying the case tarnished the reputation of local tourism.
Chairman Tung ordered all boats serving tourists in the area of Cat Ba and along Do Son Beach – Hai Phong’s major attractions – to be registered prior to the end of June and have environmental protection certificates.
Local authorities will plan six locations for tourist boats to anchor overnight for a fee.
Tung also asked local health and tourism departments to train boat staff in first aid and professional tourist service.
Unqualified boats will face a financial punishment or suspension, Tung said.